Asserting APCO’s Leadership Role in Public Safety Communications
The Government Relations Office (GRO) establishes and maintains relationships with Congress, federal agencies, the Administration, industry leaders, and national public safety and governmental organizations to advocate for the policies, regulations, and legislation of most importance to APCO members.
Public Safety Next Generation 9-1-1 Coalition Calls on Congress to Fully Fund NG9-1-1
Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Build Back Better Act, which includes a $470 million grant program to support state and local deployments of Next Generation 9-1-1, along with helpful provisions for ensuring interoperability and cybersecurity. The legislation now moves to the Senate for consideration. However, the funding level is far short of the estimated $15 billion required for fully achieving NG9-1-1 nationwide. The Public Safety Next Generation 9-1-1 Coalition, which includes APCO and America’s major fire service, EMS and law enforcement associations wrote to congressional leadership in the House and Senate requesting full funding for NG9-1-1. The Coalition warned that underfunding will leave public safety agencies with overly costly, incomplete and non-interoperable solutions vulnerable to cyber-attacks, jeopardizing the safety of the public and homeland security.
Congress Must Fully Fund Next Generation 9-1-1
Major legislation to fund the transition to Next Generation 9-1-1 has been introduced in Congress. However, we need to urge the U.S. Senate to provide the full funding public safety needs to ensure nationwide coverage, interoperability, and cybersecurity. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer can increase the funding to $15 billion, and we need your help to convince him.
Use APCO’s advocacy portal to contact Senator Schumer’s office and to send letters seeking additional support.
This slide deck contains talking points on why federal funding is needed for Next Generation 9-1-1. We’re making it available for public safety communications professionals to use as a resource in their advocacy efforts.
News from APCO's Government Relations Office
Keep up to date with the GRO team by following the TabletopX blog, written by APCO’s Government Relations team.
House Committee Passes Major Next Generation 9-1-1 Funding Legislation
On September 15, the House Energy and Commerce Committee passed legislation that includes a $10 billion grant program for deployment of Next Generation 9-1-1. This landmark legislation promotes many key principles championed by APCO and its partners in the Public Safety Next Generation 9-1-1 Coalition.
APCO Urges FCC to Improve 9-1-1 Outage Information
On July 30, APCO filed comments with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in response to proposed rules for how and when service providers must notify emergency communications centers (ECCs) of network disruptions that impact 9-1-1 service. At APCO’s suggestion, the FCC sought comment on whether the current outage reporting thresholds should be lowered so that […]
APCO Blog Discusses Aligning Advocacy Priorities with Members’ Needs
On June 24, APCO’s Government Relations Office published a TableTopX blog describing how APCO’s regulatory and legislative priorities are aligned with the needs of our members. The blog highlights how APCO’s work pursuing important matters such as changing the federal classification of 9-1-1 professionals to a “Protective Service Occupation,” funding NG9-1-1, improving 9-1-1 location accuracy, […]
APCO Applauds Introduction of Legislation to Advance Health and Wellness for 9-1-1 Professionals
On July 1, bipartisan legislation was introduced – the Providing Resources and Occupational Training for Emotional Crisis and Trauma in 9-1-1 Act, or the “PROTECT 9-1-1 Act” – that would address health and wellness for public safety telecommunicators by, among other things, developing best practices to identify, prevent, and treat posttraumatic stress disorder, establishing a […]
APCO is a recognized and well-respected leader when it comes to legislative and regulatory efforts directed at improving 9-1-1 services.
9-1-1 Location Accuracy
APCO has advocated for sensible improvements aimed at ensuring that ECCs receive actionable location information.
APCO joined with eleven other public safety associations on a press release strongly criticizing the change that would cause problems for emergency communications.
APCO advocates that sharing the 6GHz band with large numbers of unlicensed devices should only occur if appropriate measures are in place to prevent, identify and eliminate interference to public safety’s systems.
APCO played a key role in leading an extensive and successful lobbying effort to secure passage of the legislation creating the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet).
APCO efforts promote the transition of the nation’s communications networks to IP-based technologies, while ensuring preservation of certain important values including public safety.
In the rapidly-developing field of mobile apps designed for public safety and emergency response, APCO seeks to to ensure these tools are as safe and effective as possible.
APCO continues its work to classify public safety telecommunicators as a “protective” occupation, given the stress, training, and life-saving nature of their tasks.
Meet the Government Relations Team
Jeffrey Cohen is Chief Counsel and Director of Government Relations at APCO International. In this capacity, Jeff provides strategic guidance on policy, legislative, and regulatory matters to advance the association’s work on public safety and emergency communications. Prior to joining APCO, Jeff served as a detailee from the Federal Communications Commission to the Communications and Technology Subcommittee of the House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee. While on the Hill, Jeff was one of the authors of the FirstNet public safety legislation enacted in February 2012. At the FCC, Jeff was Senior Legal Counsel to the Chief of the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau. Before his move to the federal government, Jeff was a partner at the Washington, DC telecommunications law firm of Wilkinson Barker Knauer, LLP, where he worked over ten years on wireless regulatory matters since graduating from the George Washington University Law School with honors in 1994. Jeff also holds a B.S. cum laude in electrical engineering from the George Washington University. Jeff is a recipient of the FCC’s Silver Medal Award, APCO’s Leadership in Regulatory Service Award, and the National Emergency Number Association’s Presidential Award. Contact Jeff at cohenj at apcointl.org.
Mark Reddish joined APCO in 2012 and serves as Senior Counsel and Manager of Government Relations. In this role, he analyzes regulatory and legislative issues related to public safety communications and serves as a staff liaison for APCO committees. In addition to this experience, he has more than ten years of active service as a volunteer firefighter and emergency medical technician in the DC metro area. Mark earned a B.A. in psychology, summa cum laude, from Washington University in St. Louis and a J.D., magna cum laude, from the University of Illinois College of Law where he served as an editor on the Jessup International Moot Court board. Contact Mark at reddishm at apcointl.org.
Alison Venable is Government Relations Counsel at APCO International. Alison graduated cum laude from the University of Maryland School of Law with certifications in Cybersecurity and Crisis Management as well as Environmental Law. During law school, Alison worked as a research assistant for the Center for Health and Homeland Security and as an intern in the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau of the Federal Communications Commission. In her final year of law school, Alison served as Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Health Care Law and Policy and received the William P. Cunningham Award for exceptional achievements and service to the school. Prior to law school, Alison volunteered as a Disaster Survivor Assistance Specialist with FEMA Corps, a subset of AmeriCorps, where she aided in obtaining government assistance for victims of flooding in Mississippi, Texas, and Louisiana. Alison graduated from American University in 2015 with a B.A. in International Studies and a certificate in Indian Studies from Manipal University in Manipal, India.